Arizona Diamondbacks Should Not Trade Upton, Kubel or Any of Their Outfielders
After a flurry of trades and moves, the Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves pretty well set for the 2012 season. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondback managing general partner Ken Kendrick is happy with the offseason performance of general manager Kevin Towers, adding "It's not over yet."
The Diamondbacks appear to have a surplus of quality outfielders. Even after sending Chris Young to the Oakland Athletics, the Diamondbacks have Jason Kubel, Justin Upton, Gerardo Parra, A. J. Pollock and Adam Eaton.
With that much talent in the major leagues and some other good outfielders coming up through the system, like Alfredo Marte, it might make sense for the Diamondbacks to make another deal.
Buster Olney of ESPN says the Rangers might see Kubel as a consolation prize for their attempt to acquire Upton.
Arizona should resist the temptation to deal from its strength.
They have maintained their rotation depth with signing Brandon McCarthy and solidified their bullpen with acquiring Matt Reynolds and Tony Sipp. Heath Bell is still talented and will look to show his awful 2012 season was a fluke. Eric Chavez and Eric Hinske strengthen the bench. And young Didi Gregorius should do fine defensively at shortstop.
The trades and free-agent signings by Towers have filled each hole on the team.
But where will each of the five major league outfielders get their playing time? The answer is that the 162-game season tends to answer that question organically.
Injuries and slumps will find a way to cut down on someone's at-bats. A hot streak will force someone into the lineup while the realities of a long season will cut back on another.
Upton is a potential MVP who should not be dealt for pennies on the dollar. Kubel is a veteran who still supplies pop. 26-year-old Parra can still play each outfield position. Pollock is a good base stealer and defender. The 24-year-old Eaton has excellent gap power and speed.
The Diamondbacks boast one of the deepest outfields, and for a team without the resources of the Los Angeles Dodgers playing in a division with the defending champion San Francisco Giants, that could be their biggest asset.
The team will be able to survive and compete with the top two dogs because of their depth.
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